Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Super Simple Food Container

It's getting close to Christmas and I've been making some food gifts and need containers.  This is a gallon sized can that I opened using one of the safe can openers that open the cans from the side.  I just measured it and covered it with some holiday paper.   DH put the hole in the lid for the ribbon. 

It's a great way to recycle any size can and save some money on containers.  My next project is to decorate about 24 lunch bags to hold some pint jars of goodies.  I'm hoping after the Christmas party this Saturday that I can convince Shirley, aka Okieladybug, to give me some inspiration on those!

Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm Totally Technologically Challenged

I have decided that I need an adviser to accompany me when doing any type of shopping for electronic items.

It used to be that you'd go find a TV that you liked and just buy it.

As a kid, I remember my mother looking for a console TV, in a maple cabinet, that matched the end tables in the living room.  After we were married, those types of TV's had gone out of style and we bought a "portable" model.  Of course that portable model required a fork lift to move because it weighed approximately 100 pounds.  But, you didn't have to worry about how the television set was going to work.  It was all there...nothing more to buy.

Now, there are so many choices it's just ridiculous!  Plasma, LCD, LED and there's even a couple of different types of LED's! 

Our huge 52" TV is losing it's picuture quality so I told DH late Saturday afternoon that we should just run out to WalMart and do a little price shopping to find out how much it would cost to replace.

It was a nice surprise to see that prices are less than half of what the old TV cost five years ago.  They even had one 46" left over at the Black Friday price and we decided to just buy it and not do a lot of running around.

DH and I got the TV home, unpacked and placed in the entertainment center in just a few minutes. It's the perfect size and has wonderful picture quality but, the sound is terrible!  I had a transistor radio back in the 60's  (does anyone even remember those?) that had better sound quality.  I sent DH back to WalMart to buy some external speakers to fix that.

Add another $100 + for the speakers and our "bargain" TV isn't so much of a bargain.

Two hours later,  DH has done everything he knows to do and cannot get the speaker system to work. By that time,  I'm mad and just told him to return it and I'd go find a better speaker system on Monday.

Today, I drove to the next town and went to a store that has salespeople who know what they're selling and can help technologically challenged folks like me.  The salesman understood my dilemma and proceeded to offer me several different options.   Would I like a complete home theater package, ($1000 +), a surround sound system, (just under $500), or maybe a Blue-ray player, (just under $400)?    Each of these would provide great sound quality.

WHT?  All I need is a couple of decent speakers.....information overload here!  Danger, Will Robinson!!!

 I explained to the salesman that we'd tried, unsuccessfully, to install a speaker system and he even showed me how to use the TV's onscreen menu to activate the audio jacks on the TV.  The menu he showed me had more options than the one on our TV and I told him I had been unable to find anything indicating exterior speakers. But, hey, I'm pretty challenged, so I laughed and told him I'd figure it out later. After much discussion, I bought a home theater system.

DH's working with a friend today so I thought I'd do as much as I could to be ready for him to install the new speakers when he gets home.  To simplify things, I called the tech support for the TV thinking they'd tell me what we needed to do to divert the audio from the TV speakers into the speaker system.  That way, DH and I wouldn't have to try and decipher the owner's manual! LOL!

Well, I found out that it was not our fault that we couldn't get the first set of speakers to work properly.  The TV we bought has multiple connections on the back for various types of electronics but not an audio jack!

While looking at the TV's I was much more concerned with picture quality and size of the screen than the plug ins on the back.  I do remember asking about connecting the DVD player and satellite box and being told that the connections were there for those items.  Who knew that you probably need to attend a two day seminar to even know which specific questions to ask when purchasing a simple TV? 

Now that big ole' whonker has to be disconnected, reboxed and returned to the store so we can buy one that will work with the speaker system!   Grrrrrrr!!!!

***Edited at 8:45 p.m.**** Just got home from returning the TV to WalMart and a mad dash trip over to Shawnee to Sears where we found a good deal on a home entertainment package and 46" LED TV.  Am still kicking myself for not going there to start out instead of hassling with WalMart!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gift for Teenager

This is pretty much self-explanatory.  The idea was seen on Pinterest and the only link back to the originator I could find is to someone named "livette".

The gingerbread cutout was done using From My Kitchen.

It's never as simple as it seems....

Just before Halloween our local stores began to put out Christmas items.  Woo-hoo!  That inspired me to begin doing my research and planning on what I would make as food gifts this year.

Even before the last bag of candy corn had been marked down and put into the clearance basket, I'd spent hours on Pinterest and the food blogs online looking for just the right things to make.

Pretzel rods dipped in chocolate and then covered with cheerful holiday nonpareils, nuts, chocolate chips and mini-candies not only looked pretty but I figured they'd be relatively simple to make and package.

By the first week in November, I started to accumulate colored sprinkles, shiny sugars, nonpareils, numerous bags of pretzel rods and decorated gift bags in which to put them.  I was ready to rumba! I was totally psyched and ready to produce treats that would be so gorgeous people would talk about "the year Linda made......".

Realizing that it would be almost two months before I'd need to have these fantastic gifts, I set everything aside and have been eagerly awaiting the time to get started.

Today I was asked to participate in the local Chocolate Festival.  It's an annual event and this year the proceeds are going to be used to fund scholarships for the local wellness center.  (Which seems a tad bit odd---selling chocolate items to raise money for people to use a center totally devoted to wellness and excercise?  But, I agreed to donate some items.)

This gave me the perfect opportunity to begin making Christmas goodies!  I cleared off the kitchen counters, assembled my ingredients and was off to the races!  While my chocolate was melting, I arranged all my pretty coating materials in a row, right beside the waxed paper covered trays I'd place my creations on as soon as they were dipped and coated.

Who knew that nonpareils, much like styrofoam packing peanuts and glitter, would build up static electricity and cling to any surface they come into contact with?  Or, that those little suckers bounce like bullets off of Wonder Women's magic bracelets?  By the time I got a dozen or so of the pretzels coated with these little bouncy, clingy balls, they were everywhere! 

Thank goodness I had only purchased one small container of nonpareils.  The remainder of the pretzels have ingredients on them that are a little easier to handle.  I particularly like the ones coated with gold sugar and mini chocolate chips.

Treats in magazines, online and TV are so pretty and look wonderful!  I tend to forget that those photos are of things done by food stylists or professional chefs and they look perfect.  Well, my goodies may not look perfect, but they turned out pretty!  Now, I'm off to find the dustpan and get those little colored balls swept up before I track them all throughout the house!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My beautiful grandchildren

My favorite saying is that "God doesn't make any ugly grandkids."  Every grandparent is prejudiced and thinks their grandchildren are the prettiest!

Yesterday we took Edie, Evan, Charlee and Cooper to have their pictures taken.  It was great that our son, Gene, was able to be there so I could get shots of him with Edie and Cooper.  Time gets away from us so fast and I wanted to capture the kids before they get any older!

This is my oldest, Edie.  She'll be eighteen in just ten days.  That's just unbelievable; I remember so vividly the day she was born!

Here's the newest light of our lives, Cooper.  He'll be four months old tomorrow and we just think he's pretty special.

 In between Edie and Cooper, we have two other youngsters that we consider ours too.  This is Evan, the big brother.

And his sister, Charlee.

All three of the older kids are just great with Cooper.  No wonder he's always got a smile on his face---someone's always holding him and playing with him!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dinner with the girls

 Tonight a group of women from our neighborhood got together for an evening of good food and a lot of laughs.  One of the ladies shared the following with us and we had to laugh because we're all getting closer and closer to identifying with the 85 year old friends in the story.

                           DINNER WITH THE GIRLS

               A group of 15-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet
          for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Dairy Queen
          next to the Ocean View restaurant because they had only
          $6.00 among them and Jimmy Johnson, the cute boy in Social
          Studies, lived on that street.

             10 years later, the group of 25-year-old girlfriends
             discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed
             to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the beer
             was cheap, the restaurant offered free snacks, the band
             was good, there was no cover and there were lots of cute

             10 years later, the group of 35-year-old girlfriends
             discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed
             to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the cosmos
             were good, it was right near the gym and, if they went
             late enough, there wouldn't be too many whiny little kids.

             10 years later, the group of 45-year-old girlfriends
             discussed where to meet for dinner.. Finally, they
             agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the
             martinis were big and the waiters had tight pants and
             nice buns.

             10 years later, the group of 55-year-old girlfriends
             discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed
             to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the prices
             were reasonable, the wine list was good, the restaurant
             had windows that opened (in case of hot flashes), and
             fish is good for cholesterol.

             10 years later, the group of 65-year-old girlfriends
             discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed
             to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the
             lighting was good and the restaurant had an early bird

             10 years later, the group of 75-years-old girlfriends
             discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed
             to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the food
             was not too spicy and the restaurant was

             10 years later, the group of 85-years-old girlfriends
             discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed
             to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because they had
             never been there before.

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches Recipe Page

The complete recipe for making this dish was posted on October 4th.  I'm just now getting around to doing a layout page for my Cricut Cooking recipe book for it.

The words were cut using Plantin Schoolbook, the Eiffel Tower is from the French Manor cartridge, the apron from Block Party.  Design Studio software was used to create the shadow for the apron.  The little red flowers were done with an EK Success punch and then I added a little pen work for some accents.

I'll have to say that this is the best French Dip sandwich recipe I've ever used.  The meat was super tender and the juice was really delicious! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Christmas Gift - Glass Etched Mugs

This was my project this evening.  I have two of the sweetest great-nephews so I made these mugs for them.  They're going into a goodie basket with some flavored hot chocolate mixes and some cash.  Both boys are old enough that they will appreciate having some extra spending money but I didn't want to just give them cash or another gift card this year.

I found the mugs at Walmart and used Armor Etch to put their initials on the side.  Not very complicated at all.

The light on my work table made the glare beside the letters.  I tried several different alphabets before realizing the Pooh Font would work best.  Dealing with the curvature on the side of the mug was a little problem with some of the other fonts I tried.

It's nice to know you're missed....

After spending the entire day, and I mean the entire day, shopping with my sister, I logged on to Facebook to see if anything important had been posted on my home page.  This is what I found:
Okay what's going on? I tried calling several times and no answer. You haven't posted to your blog or on facebook!! ARE YOU OKAY??
Hmmm You have been gone 24 hours now...either Pinterest has sucked you into the virtual corkboard world or you have lost your shirt at the casino! Hope all is well!!!
I missed posting on my blog or FB for 24 hours and it seems like my friends were considering calling out the bloodhounds!  LOL! 
Today was set aside to take my sister to do her Christmas shopping.  I knew it would be a full day but had not considered that it would be after 11:00 p.m. when I got home.  
DH did a little shopping today also, but he didn't know it until I got home and showed him what he'd bought for me!  There's a pretty pink Cinch machine sitting on the kitchen table.  It's something I've wanted for a while and since you should get some things for Christmas that you don't necessarily need.......well, you know the rest of that story.
While walking toward the Cinch at Hobby Lobby, I passed by the Cricut display and overheard a woman asking a clerk questions about the Cricut cartridges and supplies.  The lady's name is Wilma and she was very excited about having ordered the new Cricut Mini from HSN yesterday.  She's never used one so she was just checking out the things availabe to use with it. 
Being a good "enabler"  I suggested that she just give me her credit card and go get another basket! That for around $1000 I could pick up everything she'd need and for around $200 I could get her a good start.  We talked about papers, cardstock, where to buy cartridges, and how addictive the paper crafting hobby can become.  Fortunately, she has a daycare so she can deduct the machine as a business expense! 
I shared the links for my blog, Okieladybug's blog, and the Cricut message board and suggested that she just start looking around and watching some of the tutorials, etc.  This should provide her with a good head start when her machine arrives.  I also told her about the upcoming swarm in Norman and encouraged her to attend and see what everyone does with their Cricuts.
If she has as much fun using her Cricut and meeting new people through it, as I've had it's going to be money that was well spent.  I'm hoping that she'll join the message board and post photos of her creations she's already got planned to make for her day care as well as with the kids.
Today was a fun day.  It's very nice to be able to take a day and just go do what you want and never have to rush around or worry about having to be at work the next day.  As of today, I've been retired 13 months!  I'm not sure where this last year has gone, but I know I've managed to keep busy and not bored enough to want to go back to work! 
It's nice to know that you're missed---in as short a time as 24 hours! But, I'm safe and reasonably sound and at home.  Tired, but okay so you can call up the dogs and put out the fire for tonight, this old gal's headed for bed.  Tomorrow's another day and there's no telling what I might do!  LOL!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fish Bait for Supper

Folks that visit my blog on a regular basis know that I love to cook.  And, I'll give myself a pat on the back because I'm a pretty fair cook, too.  But every once in a while, I just want to throw something out and call it supper.

The first day of deer season is this Saturday.  Yesterday, DH went to a nearby gun range to test fire his rifle he's taking on his annual hunting trip.  That gave me the house all to myself to watch movies, craft, take a nap, whatever I wanted to do.  My list of things I wanted to do did not include cooking supper.

There's always something in the pantry or freezer that can be tossed together quickly or even just microwaved so I headed out to the freezer about 2:00 to see what I could find.

There, on the top shelf in the freezer, I found a package of Jenny-O turkey wieners.  Now, I don't buy turkey wieners or lunch meats.  To me, they have an odd flavor and odor and I don't like them.  So, I figured these were part of the food left over from DH's latest camping trip with the Scouts and he'd stuck them in the freezer.

I brought the wieners into the kitchen and dug out a can of chili from the pantry and my dinner dilemma was resolved.  There's also a big bag of Fritos in there, so I decided if DH didn't want a hot dog w/chili he could just have a Frito chili pie. The rule in our house is "if you don't like what's on the table, there's peanut butter in the cabinet".  So, I knew he wouldn't starve! ***I'm laughing to myself, because this is a rule HE put in place for our son.***

DH stayed too long at the range.  I gave up and decided to just cut the weiners up into 1" pieces and mix them with the chili.  Since I had no hot dog buns in the house, my plan was to top a slice of bread with this mixture and sprinkle some grated cheese over it---and call it a hot dog!

Just as I finished eating my "hot dog", DH came in for supper.  I explained to him what I'd made for dinner and he fixed himself a plate and sat down to eat.  While he was eating, I made the comment that I never buy the turkey wieners, but these were really good. 

That's when he told me that he buys them to use for catfish bait!  LOL!  He had gone to our lake trailer to winterize it and had cleaned out the refrigerator and brought them home.  Now, here's where it really gets funny.  He said he hadn't fished for catfish in over a year.  The wieners had been in the freezer over a year at the trailer!  I think the "use by" date on the package was in 2009 sometime.  Thank goodness he'd had them stored in the freezer or we'd probably both be at the ER by now!

So, we had fish bait for supper last night. And, I'm wondering....would I like Jenny-O turkey wieners if I bought them fresh?  Or, are they only good after being frozen for two years? 

Tea Wreath

Another project I found through Pinterest.  The blog with really good photos and instructions is KOJODESIGNS

This blog has a lot of cute, quick, easy to do ideas on it.

I followed her instructions with the exception of using only 16 clothespins instead of 24.  The only suggestion I have is to be sure that you like the colors of the tea bag wrappers!  The nice tea assortment I picked up at Bed Bath and Beyond had great colors but I discovered the tea bags were not individually wrapped when I opened the packages..  It would have looked better had I not used teas with so much black on the wrappers.

This would be a great gift for someone who loves tea.  They could even hang it on the wall in their office and have a nice selection of teas.  Then it can be refilled with teas of their choice.  Hot chocolate packets would also fit onto the clothespins! Or even, the snack sized bags of microwave popcorn.  Then the wreath could be hung in the break room area at work and have the goodies handy for an afternoon treat.

Holiday Sanity Kit

I sent this to my good friend, Anita, who lives in Bristow.  She and I met about 20 years ago through our love of crafts.  We now live about 50 miles apart but we try to keep in touch as much as we can.

Anita is the kind of person who'd decorate her entire house and yard for any holiday.  Halloween and Christmas are her favorites.  She had wreaths, flags and all sorts of items inside her house for those days.  Now that we're  both, shall we say, a little less enthusiastic about the effort it takes to do all that decorating, I thought this might help to get her back into the holiday spirit.

Now that we don't have any little ones, it's just not as important to us to do all the decorating we used to.  

It's a Plano tackle box that I embellished with my Cricut and filled with some miniature chocolate bars.  The snowflakes were done with a Martha Stewart punch and I just added some Stickles, ribbon and diamond dust to bling it up a little.

 There's also a pack of homemade Christmas cards and some of the Santa-tizer in her package.  It's always fun to send a crafty gift to another crafter.   And adding a little chocolate to any gift is always a good idea!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cooper's Name Frame

Today I made this for my newest grandson, Cooper.  He's still way too little to even look at it, but it will be something his mom can put near his crib when he's ready for one.

Cartridges used:  Elegant Edges for the dark blue scallop
                          Printing 101 for the letters
                          A Child's Year for the image

The corners of the blue checked paper were shaped with a Fiskar's corner punch and I added some Signo pen doodling around the edge.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Making Christmas Cards

The past couple of days have been spent making Christmas cards to give as gifts.  Today I put some sets of the cards into a Christmas tin along with one of the bottles of Santa-tizer and delivered them to our neighbors, Kay and Donna.  They both thought the cards were neat and the Santa-tizer was cute.  But, it wasn't a surprise; they'd seen the post on my blog.  Oh, well.  LOL!

Tonight I finished a Holiday Sanity Kit for another friend.  I'll post photos in a few days since I know she lurks on here. So, at least she won't know beforehand what's in the box.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Santa-tizer Bottles

Pinterest is a great place to find craft inspiration and ideas.  This project was inspired by Beth Newlin.  It took me no time at all to make five of these.  They're going into my stash of Christmas items that I'm accumulating and will be tucked in with some homemade goodies as part of gift baskets.

I used my Expression and Design Studio to cut the buckle and a Stampin' Up border punch for the edging.

Oklahoma Earthquake

In the great scheme of things, our 5.6 magnitude earthquake last night was like shaking a bowl of Jello.

That said, it was one of the weirdest things I've ever experienced.  It only lasted a few seconds but it totally disoriented me and made me nauseated while the house was swaying and shaking.

Now I can't imagine how the people in California, Alaska, Japan and New Zealand deal with the major quakes they have!   Californians wonder how we can stand living in Oklahoma with our tornadoes...but I'll take them any day over another earthquake!  At least you can get in a hidey-hole when one of them hits.  During a severe earthquake, I don't think there's anywhere you can hide!  And, earthquakes can't be predicted.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stamp Club Card for Tonight

Shirley, aka Okieladybug, and I go to a stamp club once a month.  Occasionally, I even get a card or two finished.  Most of the time, I get distracted, talking and laughing and just stamp off images to color later at home.

Tonight I have a plan!  This card looks like it's pretty simple.  I designed it, made the prototype and will take written instructions and the supplies to make duplicates with me tonight.  I'm way behind on the number of cards I do for Cards for Soldiers and Operation Write Home, so I need to get these done.

     Hallmark Card Maker Software
     Fabulous Finds cartridge
     Fiskars border punch

First, I printed the sentiment using the card maker software onto a sheet of paper.  Then I measured the size tag I'd need for the words to fit onto and cut those with the Fabulous Finds cartridge.

It would have taken too long to drag out my light box so I just taped the printed sheet of  paper onto the patio door and placed the tags over the printed sentiments using blue painters tape to hold them in place.  I made sure the edge that would be fed into the printer was smoothly attached to the paper.  Then I just fed the paper back through the printer and the words were just where I wanted them on the tags.

Solid green cardstock  3 3/4 x 5 1/2"
Textured green cardstock  2 3/4" x 5 1/2"

The scalloped piece was done with a 1" wide strip of white cardstock.  After it was punched, I trimmed a 1/4" off the width and then applied the narrow strip onto the green cardstock.  The edges are slightly inked.

Using a Promarker, I added some doodledots onto the tag and attached the tag with some 1/8" ribbon.

Whew!  Lots of steps for a card that looks so simple!  But, I like the way it turned out and it will go into my "make it again" folder for a later date.

It's an A2 size card but it opens from the bottom rather than from the side. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Birthday Banner Card

Banners are really popular now in paper crafting.  The banner printed paper I used for this card came from Tuesday Morning; Okieladybug found it and she and I shared the paper pack.   I used the Paisley cartridge to cut the yellow flames, inked the edges with red and pop dotted them onto the candles.

The dark blue portion was too plain so I added some doodling with a white Signo pen.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Circle Punch Card

This card was inspired by one seen on Splitcoast Stampers. 

Supplies used:
SU 1 3/4" circle punch
SU scalloped border punch
Martha Stewart button punch
Baker's twine
Signo white pen
Crop-A-Dile Corner Chomper
Teal Color Box ink

Not Too Good, But It's A Start

These were done with the 3 step EK Success butterfly punch and a Martha Stewart punch.  I inked the edges on the larger ones and used Inka-gold paints on the smaller ones. The jagged edged circle was cut using the Preserves cartridge.

They're not too good, but it's a start at getting back into my craft room!  I find it difficult to construct things while I'm still so shaky but I am so ready to get up and start doing something! LOL!

These will be the last of the butterfly cards for a while.  I've been in a butterfly rut lately and need to look for another theme to use!

I've lost two weeks!

Made a trip to the doctor on October 17th because I thought I was getting shingles again.  And, if you've ever had them, you know that you don't want them again! 

The doctor prescribed several different medications and I've either been too looped to do anything or so sleepy I couldn't for the last couple of weeks.

This morning I took the last of the strong medication so my goals for today are: 

(1) Stay awake all day
(2) Clean off my work surface in my craft room
(3) Make some cards!

I may not be the world's worst patient, but I'm pretty sure I'm in the top ten.  Pills and I do not get along.  The good Lord has kept me healthy most of my life so I've never had to take a lot of medications.   When I do, they generally have some side effects that I don't like.

I'm looking forward to getting back into my regular routine!  Hopefully I'll have a new project to post later this afternoon.